Case Studies

Freedom of movement: St Kitts and Nevis citizenship for a blogger

My wife and I are fighting for a better country and planet. Our activity involves travelling all over the world. But we are tired of wasting our time and energy obtaining visas and bureaucratic procedures. This energy we could use to create something better. Freedom of movement would help us to be more productive and valuable. We need it.

Visa-free еravelling with St Kitts and Nevis passport
Johannes, 49
An investor from South Africa
Visa-free еravelling with St Kitts and Nevis passport

The challenges of the family from South Africa

Visa-free еravelling with St Kitts and Nevis passport
Johannes, 49, the investor
A blogger, has a publishing house that fights corruption
Visa-free еravelling with St Kitts and Nevis passport
Sipho, 40, the investor’s wife
Is developing a chain of health-food restaurants
Visa-free еravelling with St Kitts and Nevis passport
Mpho, 16, their daughter
Is about to finish high school
Visa-free еravelling with St Kitts and Nevis passport
Thabo, 69, Johannes’ father
Retired

Each family member had specific circumstances that needed to be addressed.

Johannes is an active blogger and has a publishing house that fights corruption. His work is spontaneous and has urgent events like shooting and interviewing different people. Many work events and meetings are organised at relatively short notice in various parts of the world, most often in Europe.

Johannes often had trouble preparing visas in time: there were cases when he lost a sponsor or a famous person for an interview because he could not appear on the appointed day in a country due to visas.

Moreover, recently a new problem emerged to the cost and hassle of visas: one of the countries where he wanted to shoot and have an interview with another blogger has declared Johannes a ‘politically exposed person’. Such persons are closely monitored, and Johannes’ freedom as a blogger and corruption fighter was severely limited.

Sipho is developing and promoting a chain of health-food restaurants. It requires frequent travel to many remote parts of the world where the non-GMO producers are often located. Consequently, Sipho requires visa-free access to a series of countries in some exotic locations.

Mpho is in the process of picking a profession and a perfect university to study at. She is both a talented designer and a brilliant young scientist, winning physics and mathematics competitions. Mpho is currently undecided between Oxford and the Design Academy in Italy. So, she needs visits to the UK and Italy lasting for one—two months to choose a university and decide on the direction of education in either Italy or the UK.

The overall goal of the family was to achieve visa-free travel to most countries around the world. So, Johannes decided to get passports of a country that would allow him and his family to travel visa-free. 

On 4 February 2019, Johannes turned to Immigrant Invest for advice.

Contacting Immigrant Invest

At the first meeting with Johannes, the Immigrant Invest lawyers conducted the preliminary Due Diligence.

The preliminary Due Diligence at Immigrant Invest helps eliminate possible risks and identify a list of suitable programs for an investor. The check is carried out before signing a contract with an investor and takes one workday.

Up to 1%
Preliminary Due Diligence reduces the risk of application rejection

The lawyers learnt about Johannes’ active public work and that he has been recently declared a 'politically exposed person’. 

Politically exposed persons (PEP) is given to senior government officials:

  • country leaders;
  • senior members of all three branches of the government — executive, legislative and judiciary;
  • senior civil servants;
  • politicians;
  • members of parliament;
  • senior management of the state financial authorities;
  • leaders of international organisations.

Johannes was alleged to belong to the last criterion and, as a result, was included in the PEP list.

The PEP status can impede his process of obtaining a residence permit or second citizenship, as PEPs are subject to more stringent scrutiny. Citizenship program departments follow anti-corruption laws: they check if a PEP has used its authority to obtain illegal income.

Evgeniya Morozova Expert Immigrant Invest
Evgeniya Morozova
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, PhD in Law

After careful legal analysis of the situation, Immigrant Invest lawyers discovered that Johannes was included in the PEP list by mistake due to an erroneous interpretation of his public position. Despite his busy, international public work as a blogger, he is neither a politician nor a senior civil servant. And even though his publishing house operates globally and is sponsored from abroad, it is not a registered international organisation.

Also, Immigrant Invest lawyers learned that Johannes has no criminal record or visa denials and no tax debts. He has a legal source of income for the investment contribution under a program.

The Immigrant Invest team was 99% confident that any citizenship program would approve Johannes’ application. But there is always a minimal risk: the final decision remains with the program department.

Choosing a program

The leading goal of Johannes’ family was to travel visa-free to most countries, including Schengen and the UK. Johannes’ budget was $250,000. Immigrant Invest lawyers have selected suitable programs for Johannes.

Five Caribbean citizenship by investment programs matched the investor’s criteria: Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica.

Caribbean passport holders travel visa-free to more than 140 countries, including the Schengen Area, the UK, Singapore, and China. Moreover, the citizens have the right to get long-term tourist or business US visas.

The investor gets a Caribbean passport in 2—6 months. Some countries confer fast-track procedures.

The minimal investment into a country’s economy is $100,000. It’s smaller compared to European programs. For comparison, to get a Montenegrin passport, an investor will spend more than €472,000.

According to the Caribbean route, the application process does not need a direct presence in the country, and there is no living requirement. One application can include a spouse, children under 30, parents over 55, and unmarried brothers and sisters.

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment programs


St Kitts and Nevis

Antigua and Barbuda

St Lucia

Dominica

Grenada
2—6 months3—6 months3—4 months3—6 months4—6 months
157 countries visa-free150 countries visa-free146 countries visa-free144 countries visa-free144 countries visa-free
$150,000+ 
contribution to the fund
Or
$175,000+ 
buying a social property
Or
$200,000+
buying property
$100,000
contribution to the fund
Or
$200,000+ 
buying a property
Or
From
$150,000
university fund contribution
Or
From 
$400,000
business investment
$100,000+ 
contribution to the fund
Or
$300,000+
buying a property
Or
From 
$250,000
buying bonds
Or
From 
$1,000,000
business investment
$100,000+ 
contribution to the fund
Or
$200,000+ 
buying a property
$150,000+ 
contribution to the fund
Or
$220,000+ 
buying a property

St Kitts and Nevis offers the most powerful passport among Caribbean CBI programmes, with visa-free access to 156 countries, including the Schengen Area and Britain. So, Johannes chose St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program as visa-free travelling to most countries was his primary demand.

With St Kitts and Nevis passports, the family will be able to travel to the countries they need: Johannes and Mpho to Europe, and Sipho to remote exotic countries.

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program terms

In exchange for a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, applicants are to pass a Due Diligence check, make a non-refundable contribution of $150,000 to the state fund, or buy real estate worth $200,000. Also, the investor pays the Due Diligence, the application, notarial, bank and certificate fees.

$158,661
Is the minimal cost of a St Kitts and Nevis passport

Johannes chose contribution to the government fund over the real estate purchase. He did not intend to live in Saint Kitts and Nevis and did not want to deal with real estate’s responsibility: its maintenance and further exploitation.

The expenses increase if an investor adds family members to the application. An investor can add:

  • a spouse;
  • children aged up to 30, financially dependent on the investor;
  • parents over 50 years old of both the investor and the spouse;
  • siblings under 30 years old, unmarried and with no children, of both the investor and the spouse.

Applicants for Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment do not need to take exams on the country's language or history, live in Saint Kitts and Nevis or even visit the country.

St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

Christophe Harbour, a boat marina in St Kitts and Nevis with 24/7 marina access. The marina provides on-site customs clearance and a warm welcome for owners, captains and crew members. Water sports are very popular in St Kitts and Nevis, including yachting

St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

Port Zante in Basseterre town in St Kitts and Nevis. Port Zante’s extensive port facilities can handle the world’s largest liners and have plenty of other facilities, including restaurants, boutiques, a duty-free plaza, and souvenir stores. In general, St Kitts and Nevis has robust recreation and leisure industry

St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

The Beach at South Friars Bay in St Kitts and Nevis. The country is trendy among tourists. About 250,000 people visit St Kitts and Nevis every year to see its beautiful mountains, beaches and rainforests. The country’s economy is based mainly on tourism

Investor’s costs in St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program

Under the terms of the program, Johannes was to invest $195,000: $150,000 was for himself, $25,000 was for his wife, and $10,000 each for their daughter and Johannes’ father. The investor also paid Due Diligence: $7,500 for himself and $4,000 for each family member.

The Immigrant Invest team calculated the program’s participation cost for Johannes’ family.

$217,644 — Johannes’ expenses for participation in St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program

$195,000
Fund investment
$19,500
Due Diligence
$1,444
Passport fee
$1000
Application fee
$500
Bank fee
$200
Issuance of four naturalisation certificates

Steps to obtain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

1. Collecting and transmission of documents. Immigrant Invest lawyers have prepared and submitted a package of investor documents to the Citizenship Department of Saint Kitts and Nevis. It took three weeks to prepare the documents.

When the lawyers submitted the documents, Johannes paid the Due Diligence fee — $19,500.

2. Approval of the application. The program department reviewed Johannes’ application within the set time limit of three months and did not make any additional requests.

Johannes’ successful completion of Due Diligence results from Immigrant Invest lawyers’ work. They have prepared a comprehensive package of documents that met the program’s requirements. In addition, the lawyers attached affidavits proving that Johannes is not politically active and does not have a ‘politically exposed person’ status.

Immigrant Invest received Johannes’ application approval by email.

3. Fulfilment of investment conditions. When Johannes received approval to participate in the program, he transferred $195,000 to the bank account of the St Kitts and Nevis state fund.

4. Obtaining a passport. The department received a notification of the transfer of the investments and, within two weeks, has printed certificates of naturalisation and passports for Johannes’ family.

The investor received the documents from Immigrant Invest two weeks later.

4.5 months to obtain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

1
4 February 2019
Johannes turned to Immigrant Invest
2
+ 1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
3
+ 3 weeks
Preparation of documents, filing of the application
4
+ 3 months
Due Diligence
5
26 May 2019
Approval of the application
6
+ 4 weeks
Preparation and forwarding of passports
7
23 June 2019
Obtaining passports

Visa-free travelling with St Kitts and Nevis passports

Johannes can now travel freely and never has to worry about making it to the next meeting with a business partner or shooting abroad. Moreover, thanks to the work of Immigrant Invest lawyers, Johannes was removed from the troublesome list of politically exposed persons.

Sipho got the opportunity to visit the island communities and gather all the necessary information and contacts to add some exotic dishes to her restaurant’s menu. It, in turn, has considerably boosted the chain’s competitive position in the health-food market.

Mpho was able to enrol in a summer school in Italy, followed by a visit to the UK. After this, she felt she was making an informed choice when she decided to pursue a degree in Architecture — a profession that would take advantage of her scientific and creative talents.

St Kitts and Nevis citizenship removed the most trying obstacles from our clients’ professional and personal lives and gave them the freedom of travel.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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